9/29/14

How to Scientifically Determine When To Turn Down A Job

No one wants to pass up a “great opportunity.” Certainly not me.  When I was in my 20’s I’d say “yes” to countless stand-up gigs, web-videos, presentation pilots, pop culture blogging, you-name-it.

I needed to build-up my professional resume and I knew I could learn from people who had more experience than I did.

But after a few years of fattening my resume, I was burning myself out on other people’s projects. I didn’t have much to show for it. And mostly I was learning that a lot of the projects weren’t what they promised to be and neither were the people.

Worst of all, the combination of low-paying and no-paying gigs was keeping me from pursuing my own dreams. 

But today when someone contacts me with “a great opportunity” I use this simple test (created by my wife and me) to decide what to do.

Once the potential employer/collaborator/Svengali gives me the details on the workload, I rate the project based on these traits.

(1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest)


Money (score it on a scale of 1 – 5) 
Is there pay?  Is the pay any good?  Is there enough money for the amount of time required?

Creatively fulfilling (score it on a scale of 1 – 5)
Will this work be personally satisfying? If not, there better be something else on this list as a reason to do it.

Peers (score it on a scale of 1 – 5)
Will I be in contact with enjoyable, admirable peers? Are these people I want to build a professional relationship with?

Impact on personal life (score it on a scale of 1 – 5)
Will this movie/TV show/interactive online novella get in the way of my time with friends and family?  Am I going to be working late nights?  Is that worth it?

Beneficial for my Career (score it on a scale of 1 – 5)
Does this job represent a clear step forward on chosen professional path?

HOW TO SCORE THE TEST
Just as New York City has standards about what grade of meat is served in its restaurants, I have a number that a project must clear.  

Then I can take a job, provided the sum clears that hurdle.

Sometimes the money’s bad, but the collaborators are good and it’s not too time consuming. 

Or maybe the job isn’t a resume builder, but the money’s great.

Or it’s not inspiring people, but the project is something I’ve always wanted to try so it’s personally fulfilling.

I’ve taken every possible combination of traits and I’ve gone into each freelance job knowing exactly why I took it.


NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Identify your top priorities.  Find your cut-off grade.

Maybe you don’t like working early hours.Or you want to work from home. Or you just want to take a one-time gig to put a big-name employer to put on your resume.

How bad does a job have to be for you to say no?  (Or how good does a job have to be for you to say yes?)


Once you decide what’s important to you, you can create your own version of the Freelancer’s test and you can start turning down jobs without any regrets or apologies.

* * * 

Kevin Maher is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer whose work has been seen on HBO, Comedy Central, CNN and Nickelodeon. Journalists have compared Kevin to Ernie Kovacs and Jonathan Winters, but his highest praise came from Tiger Beat who called him “funny!”  Follow him on twitter: @KevinGeeksOut

And see his upcoming live shows during New York Super Week. MORE HERE

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9/18/14

Flat Stan Lee Goes to FUNSPOT

A trip to FUNSPOT -- the biggest arcade in the entire world! 

 
Whoops - I spent the entire game with my left turn signal on. 

Best video game based on a play by William Shakespeare. 

Could it be? A true super-villain inside Funspot 
trying to reclaim his Donkey Kong record??

9/4/14

Kevin Geeks Out -- As seen in The New York Times


The New York Times ran a swell article about Kevin Geeks Out and The Brooklyn Brain Jam. You can read it HERE.

Want to attend an upcoming KEVIN GEEKS OUT show? 
We have 3 big events in October: 

NERD COMEDY: for nerd, by nerds
with TV's FRANK (from MST3K)
Wednesday October 8th @ 8:00pm

KEVIN GEEKS OUT - COMIC CON SPECTACULAR
at Webster Hall -- click HERE for tickets
Saturday October 11th @ 8:00pm

KEVIN & MATT GEEK OUT ABOUT ZOMBIES
Thursday October 23rd @ 9:30pm

For details on THE BROOKLYN BRAIN JAM, here's a link for the full schedule and another link for tickets.
* * * 
Lastly, the Times' tin-foil hat photo (by Matt Glasson) is from KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT ALIENS. You can watch the trailer below, along with trailers for previous KGO shows. 

KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT EVIL


KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT VISIONS OF THE FUTURE

KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT ALIENS

KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT MONKEYS

KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT WRESTLING


Follow me on twitter to find out about any upcoming events.
@KevinGeeksOut

photo by Tom Henning.

9/3/14

Full Schedule for the BROOKLYN BRAIN JAM

This Sunday, September 7th it's the 
FIRST ANNUAL BROOKLYN BRAIN JAM

A day-long festival of entertainment from long-running shows, including KEVIN GEEKS OUT, THE STORY COLLIDER, NERD NITE and THE BIG QUIZ THING.

Click HERE for tickets.

Sunday, September 7th, 12 - 6pm
at The Bell House
149 7th Street, Brooklyn NY

8/23/14

UPCOMING SHOWS

Updated schedule of Kevin Maher Comedy Shows/Events: 

* * * 

THE BROOKLYN BRAIN JAM
Sunday September 7th, 12 noon - 6:00 PM
at The Bell House, 149 7th Street in Brooklyn

What: A six-hour extravaganza, a buffet of entertainment from four distinct series KEVIN GEEKS OUT, THE STORY COLLIDER, NERD NITE and THE BIG QUIZ THING. 

Tickets and details HERE.


* * * 


NERD COMEDY: For Nerds, By Nerds
Wednesday October 8th @ 8:00pm
at The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn

Nerdy comedy performed at a Steampunk bar with a TARDIS bathroom, Featuring Frank Conniff (aka TV's Frank from MST3K), Rusty Ward as "Jeff Balrogworthy", Liam McEneaney, Meghan O'Neill, Manolo Blank and more. Hosted by Kevin Maher. 

Tickets and details HERE

This event is part of NEW YORK SUPER WEEK.



* * * 

KEVIN GEEKS OUT: COMIC CON SPECTACULAR
Saturday October 11th @ 8:00pm
in The Marlin Room at Webster Hall,

A comedy-variety show celebration of everything we love about Comic Con, featuring bits about Comic Books, Collectable Toys, Horror Movies, Robots, Post-Apocaylptic Fiction and Celebrity Encounters. 

with: Screenwriter M. Sweeney Lawless, Professor Geoff Klock, Blogger Nick Nadel, Cartoonist R. Sikoryak and Comedian Rusty Ward. Special Appearance by Flat Stan Lee. Hosted by Kevin Maher. 

Tickets and details HERE.

This event is part of NEW YORK SUPER WEEK

* * * 


KEVIN & MATT GEEK OUT ABOUT ZOMIBES
Thursday October 23rd @9:30pm
Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn

Comedian Kevin Maher is joined by Filmmaker Matt Glasson for a deep-dive into Zombie Cinema. This two-hour show features dozens of video clips, guest speakers, trivia games and prizes. 







8/22/14

WHY I HATE "WALKING WITH DINOSAURS"

I was recently  guest on THE FLOPHOUSE podcast, where I talked about my most hated movie: WALKING WITH DINOUSAURS

You can listen to it HERE.


And for new-comers, I'm reposting my manifesto about WHY I HATE WALKING WITH DINOSAURS :
(after the jump)

7/30/14

SHARKMANIA: deleted jokes, observations and opinions


My passion for shark movies outweighed my distrust of basic-cable talking-head clip shows and I agreed to appear on SyFy channel's SHARKMANIA: THE TOP 15 BIGGEST, BADDEST, BLOODIEST BITES


Here are some jokes that did not appear during the broadcast, but are good enough to blog. 

(In the TV business, we call these "web exclusives!") 


Say what you will about 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK, it passes the Bechdel test.



If a sharknado really happened, Pat Robertson would somehow blame it on gay sharks.

7/29/14

Movie Quiz: Graffiti in Films

Can you identify these 22 films based on the graffiti? 

(See the comments section for answers.)

1. 


2.

3.

4.

5.

7/19/14

The 3rd type of Shark Movie Poster: HANDS!!!


Previously I'd compared the two types of Shark movie posters (see the gallery HERE.) 

But here's another poster trope:  HANDS GRASPING FOR DEAR LIFE. 

The hands are always caucasian. And they frequently belong to men. (Otherwise the poster will show the woman in her bikini.
KINDERTRAUMA observed that GREAT WHITE's hand is the MORTUARY hand. (It appeared again on a book cover.) 

7/11/14

Happy Blobfest

Happy Blobfest Weekend! 

Some of you are excited about Free Slurpee Day or the new Planet of the Apes movie. 

But I'm excited to go to Phoenixville, PA -- the town where THE BLOB (1958) was filmed. 

Here's a video I made for AMC back in 2008, my first Blobfest: 





This year's theme is Kaiju, and the organizers had a "Kaiju Haiku" contest. There was a different prize each week. 

I was bummed that I didn't win the King Kong pillowcases, but delighted to learn that my haiku won the grand prize: passes to Blobfest! 

And my poem was turned into this 3-panel comic by Jason Deeble (of Monster Haiku


Here's the full schedule for this weekend's Blobfest. (including appearances by Joel Hodgson and Ghoul a Go Go) 

It's worth the trip. 




Beware of the Blob by KevinMaher

7/8/14

The Kevin Maher Summer Tour

I have 3 exciting shows coming to 3 excellent cities. 


WEEHAWKEN, NJ - on Sunday July 13th @ 7:00pm

THE HAWK - Comedy, Music & Storytelling


ABOUT THIS SHOW: 
Susie Felber's new variety series features a variety of acts including music, storytelling and a rare stand-up performance by Kevin Maher. 

For more about the show, read this article

THE HAWK
at the PARK AVENUE BAR & GRILL
3417 Park Avenue, Union City NJ 07087
Just $5 (and 2-items) 

Sunday, July 13th @ 7:00 pm

7/7/14

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW TRIVIAL PURSUIT

I watched TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (2013) last night. 

It's like jury-duty for fans of the original. 

Anyway, there's a scene where Leatherface (aka "Jeb Sawyer") goes to a carnival and encounters a guy in a pig-mask weilding a chainsaw. 

Was this a MOTEL HELL (1980) reference or just a coincidence? 




Either way, I wish the film had taken advantage of the carny setting and made some inside jokes about Tobe Hooper's THE FUNHOUSE (1981). 

But this movie was not made for me. 


* * * 

Bonus Fun-fact: 


I was playing a game of TRIVIAL PURSUIT with my wife and the silver-screen category asked: 

What 1980's horror movie includes a climactic chainsaw duel. 

I told my wife: The answer on the card will be "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Part 2" but the REAL answer is "Motel Hell." 

I was right. You gotta know the limits of the questionnaire. 


7/4/14

Women & Fireworks - photo gallery

You can learn a lot about a society based on how it depicts women on fireworks.

1. THE BEACH BABE

For you boner-poppin' Freedom-luvin' Shakesepeare fans. 



2. THE ST. PAULIE GIRL KNOCK-OFF


Oktoberfest meets the 4th of July meets beer ad stereotypes. 




6/18/14

I was a guest on STAR WARS MINUTE


I was a guest on the STAR WARS MINUTE podcast -- a show where they analyze, scrutinize and celebrate the STAR WARS saga, one minute at a time. We spent 38 minutes discussing minute 111 of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. (That's the minute where Darth Vader tells Luke he is his father.) 

You can listen to the full episode HERE

Fun-fact: The episode was taped live at the Parkside Lounge. And I was at the Parkside Lounge the night I saw the midnight screening of Episode I. The podcast taping was a much better than being at the Ziegfeld Theater while a packed house experienced collective denial. 


Related Posts: 

Personal essay on STAR WARS, SUICIDE and 12-STEP


Images related to the podcast: